Moving forward with sympathy, understanding how to tackle COVID-19 mental health issues

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In this time of COVID-19 crisis we are facing two pandemics. One is the Coronavirus. The other one is threatening, caused by societal panic with its accompanying fear and anxiety, along with the stress caused by concerns for daily livelihoods. The second could do more harm and last longer than the first, if we don’t manage it well.
Experts have warned of the isolation felt by many, especially the elderly who are quarantined. There are also the anxieties that will affect daily waged workers and those working just to make ends meet. Others will worry about the future of their jobs.
Mental health issues are likely to emerge as significant side effects of the new disease, requiring the attention of public-health policymakers.
To manage the fear and anxiety in the time of COVID-19, it is recommended to limit media exposure, especially with social media, maintain normal sleeping and eating patterns and, most importantly, get your information from credible experts and sources.
Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and during times when we are faced with the uncertainty of the unknown. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, COVID-19 has brought significant changes to our daily lives, as our movements are restricted in support of efforts to contain and slow the spread of the virus.
On a daily basis we are facing new realities, such as working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues.
In this time of the virus, it is important for everyone to look after our mental, as well as our physical health, and we all should display more sympathy and understanding, as the pandemic does not seem to be going away any time soon.
Professionals with mental health backgrounds are also advised to take part in the National Volunteer Corps.
Meanwhile, it is welcome news that WHO will continue to provide accessible and actionable information on coping with COVID-19-related stress and anxiety, and will support all member states to strengthen mental health services, as part of the COVID-19 response.
To save lives and minimize the impact on the nation, we must continue to stand together to tackle what is the greatest public health challenge of a generation.

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